Short version: I decided to race it. I did not PR.
This was my first evening race. There are quite a few evening races in and around Chicago during the summer. I think it’s a fun way to spend the evening, but I by no means have my evening race strategy down. For one thing, I ended up having to eat a late lunch, meaning I ate a sandwich about 3 hours before race time. Suddenly my mindset went from “do I race it or do I tempo?” to “just don’t puke.”
The race start/finish was next to Diversey Harbor on Lake Michigan in Chicago. I got up to the area about two hours before race time, found free parking nearby, and walked through part of Lincoln Park to get to packet pick-up.
With I had my bib in hand, I had to figure out where to change into my race clothes. The only option on the race site was the handicap port-a-potty. I figured I would be better off changing in my car. Even though I was parked on the side of a street running along the west edge of the park. A park where children walk with their parents. And buses drive by. But I made it work without flashing my naughty bits.
Once I was dressed, I decided to do a little warm-up, since I had some time to kill before my friends got up to the race. I decided to make like a real Chicagoan and run by the lake.
The Lakefront Path runs between Lake Michigan and Lake Shore Drive, which was crowded with rush hour traffic. I got to witness a crash (rear-end) while running. Ooopsie!
Eventually I met up with some of the F’N Runners, and then Kelly, Amanda, Susan and I went off in search of the Chicago Runner Bloggers meet-up we had planned. Who knew there were so many statues in the north end of Lincoln Park?? When we finally found Goethe, we saw Britt aka Chicago Runner Girl and Lauren waiting for us! Meaning, we had our own spectators! Thanks, ladies!!
Geez, this post is already long and the race hasn’t even started yet.
After much personal debate (thank you all for your comments), I ended up racing this race. It was just hard not to. I lined up around the 9 minute mile group, thinking I wouldn’t be as eager to race if I wasn’t being passed. But it’s a race. People are running fast. You want to run fast. As fast as you can. So that’s what I did.
I knew after the first mile that my chances of PR’ing were slim-to-none. I was about 15-20 seconds over PR pace. That’s hard to make up in a short race. My heart rate was around 180. I couldn’t go much faster without dying in the last mile.
My official time was 23:53, pace of 7:41. 5K PR still stands at 23:18.
But you know what?
- I didn’t throw up my sandwich
- I was 8th in my age group
- I showed about 900+ people my tush in booty shorts that crept up during the race (YOU’RE WELCOME)
- I finished in under 24 minutes, for a race that I wasn’t training specifically for, after two half marathons in two weeks
- I WAS ON TV! See, here is a screenshot of my back (look at my ponytail go!)
So I’m pretty proud of myself.
This Saturday, BFF Gen and I are doing the Glo Run 6K, and I’m running at her pace. After that, my total and complete running focus will be on marathon training. I’m putting it out there for all of the internet to see, so I have to stick to it. I’m registered for three longer races which I will use as supported training runs.